Canada in the Second World War

People

Witnesses to History

During the Second World War, these Canadians fought in Sicily, in Italy, in Normandy, during the campaign of North East Europe or elsewhere. Some lost their lives fighting, while others made it back home where they raised a family and took part in forging Canada today. Sometimes told by their children or grandchildren, their personal histories act as a complement to official history told here.

Adrien Boivin

Identity Adrien BOIVIN (Joseph Marcellin Adrien) Born March 30, 1923 in Kenogami, Quebec Son of Marcellin Boivin and Marie-Jeanne Tremblay Married to Lucille Bilodeau from Quebec Father of Catherine and Louise Known Norman origins Paternal: Pierre Boivin, son of Pierre...

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Albert Wilson Kennedy

Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Albert Wilson Kennedy (Al Kennedy) was born on July 31, 1923, in Greenock Scotland. Al moved with his family to Canada, at the age of 9 months. His family settled in Mimico, Ontario. Al Kennedy...

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Cyril Crain

SURNAME:  CRAIN GIVEN NAME:  Cyril Walter NATIONALITY:  British DATE OF BIRTH:  June 11, 1923 PLACE OF BIRTH:  Nottingham, England RANK:  Signalman UNIT:  19 Beach Signal Section, Combined Operations Command BEFORE THE WAR: Cyril Walter Crain was born on June 11,...

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DAVID WEBSTER GOODWIN

DAVID WEBSTER GOODWIN FLYING OFFICER – PILOT R.C.A.F. – J/25874 David was born on February 7, 1920, in Grand Prairie, Alberta. He was the son of James Cameron Goodwin and Jessie Ann (née: Webster). The family moved to Kaleden, British...

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Dorothy Irene Mulholland

Surname: MULHOLLAND Given name: Dorothy Irene Nationality: Canadian Date of Birth: January 5, 1915 Place of Birth: Grimsby, Ontario, Canada Rank: Nursing Sister, F/O Corps:.No. 2 Mobile Field Unit BEFORE THE WAR Dorothy Irene Mulholland was born on January 5, 1915,...

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Ernest Côté

Third son of Senator Jean Léon Côté and of Cécile (Gagnon) Côté, he was born in Edmonton, Alberta on June 12, 1913. He studied at the Edmonton Jesuit College and obtained a BSc degree from the Laval University in 1931....

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Frank Battershill

Frank Battershill was born on June 26, 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba On June 6, 1944, Frank Battershill was a lieutenant commanding N°7 Platoon, “A” Company, Royal Winnipeg Rifles who landed on the extreme right (western) flank of Courseulles. His platoon...

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Frank P. Davidson

Frank P. Davidson was born May 20, 1918 in New York (USA). Frank P. Davidson joined the Canadian Army before the United States entered the war. He enlisted on August 25, 1941 as a trooper in the Canadian Armoured Corps....

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Frédérick Bourgeois

Frederick Bourgeois is Acadian.  He was born in 1922, in Shédiac New-Brunswick.  He volunteered to join the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment in 1941. He was eventually transferred to the Fusiliers Mont-Royal Regiment, and arrived in Normandy with the 2nd...

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Garth Webb

Known as the founder of the Juno Beach Centre, today Garth S. Webb represents the Canadian Second World War veterans and their families who have been the driving force behind the creation of the Juno Beach Centre. They had the...

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George Lynch-Staunton

George Lynch-Staunton was born on June 1, 1923 in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Between April 1939 and October 1941, George Lynch-Staunton belonged to the 15th Alberta Light Horse. Between October 1941 and July 1946, he joined the 21st, 14th and 13th...

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Georges Isabelle

Identity Georges ISABELLE (Georges-Marie) Born August 9, 1922 at Cap-Chat, Quebec Died on April 23, 2013 Son of Samuel Isabelle and Marie Lavoie Married to Marie-Paule Breton on September 2, 1946 (Deceased October 19, 2003) – Companion of Chantal Soucy...

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Gilbert Boulanger

Boulanger Joseph Hector Gilbert Canadian June 3, 1922 – December 31, 2013 Montmagny, Québec, Canada Flying Officer (F/O) Royal Canadian Air Force – 425 Squadron BEFORE THE WAR Gilbert “Gilles” Boulanger was born on June 3, 1922 in Montmagny, Québec,...

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Gilles Gamache

Gilles GAMACHE (Joseph Jean-René Gilles) Born April 7, 1920 in Montreal, Quebec Deceased July 9, 2008 in Longueil, Quebec Son of Adolphus Gamache and Marguerite Beauchamp Married to Olivette Charron on October 17, 1942 (Deceased February 1, 1994) – Life...

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Jack Hadley

John (Jack) Hadley joined the Queen’s Own Rifles (QOR) in June 1940, along with his brother, George. Jack and George trained with the QOR in Newfoundland, Camp Sussex, New Brunswick, Scotland, and England before both landed in the first wave...

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Jan de Vries

On the night of D-Day, Jan de Vries parachuted into Normandy with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. Jan de Vries was born on January 24th, 1924 in Leeuwarden, Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands. 6 years later, he immigrated...

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Jim Bardsley

Harry Bardsley was born on 18th June 1918, at St Catharines (Ontario) Canada, the youngest of seven children. From his earliest years, he draws and paints but without any parental encouragement. He was educated at the St Catharines Collegiate Institute....

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Léo Gariepy

SURNAME: GARIEPY GIVEN NAME: Léonard Roger NATIONALITY: Canadien DATE OF BIRTH: October 3, 1912 PLACE OF BIRTH: St-François de Sales, Laval, Québec, Canada RANK: Sergeant CORPS: 6th Armoured Regiment – First Hussars BEFORE THE WAR Léonard “Léo” Gariépy was born...

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Lorenzo Tremblay

Identity Lorenzo TREMBLAY (Joseph Arthur Lorenzo) Born January 10, 1922 in Val-Brillant, Quebec Son of Pierre Tremblay and Marianne Brochu First marriage with Marie-Jeanne Chénard – Second marriage with Aurore Boudreau, November 1, 1997 Father of Raymond and Alain Norman...

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Louis-Philippe Leblanc

Louis-Philippe Leblanc was born on September 26, 1917, in Ville St Laurent, Québec. He deceased on December 16, 2002. Louis-Philippe LeBlanc volunteered for the Canadian army in 1942. He was assigned to the Royal 22nd Regiment and then transferred to...

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Marcel Ouimet

Marcel Ouimet was born in Montreal, Québec in 1915. He attended the University of Ottawa and the School of Socia Studies of l’Université de Paris. A journalist with Ottawa’s newspaper “Le Droit”, and perfectly bilingual, in 1939, he was recruited...

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Pierre Dubuc

Identity Pierre DUBUC (Pierre Hector) Born October 6, 1924 in Val-des-Bois, Quebec (deceased on September 19, 2017) Son of Paul Dubuc and Cordélia David Married to Annette Grenier on July 23, 1951 Father of Ginette, Pierrette and Lorraine Known Norman...

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Ralph Charles Spencer

On June 6th, 1944, Ralph Charles Spencer landed in Normandy and distinguished himself in an act of bravery by rescuing six comrades. Ralph Charles Spencer was born in the small Irish coal mining community of Londonderry, Nova Scotia. The Spencer...

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Ray Jamieson

Early Life and Education On April 19, 1918, Ray Jamieson was born in the rural community of Hillier, Ontario, located in Prince Edward County (approximately 209 kilometers east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Ray’s parents were descendants of Scottish immigrants. He...

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Roméo L. Boulanger

Identity Roméo L. BOULANGER (Joseph Roméo François LEFEBVRE-DIT-BOULANGER) Born June 4, 1917 at Saint-Côme, Beauce, Québec Deceased on September 28, 2009 Son of Elie (Lefebvre) Boulanger and Rose-Anna (de) Rancourt Married to Yvette Desrosiers of Rimouski on September 23, 1947...

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Romuald Ouellet

Romuald OUELLET was born August 18, 1920 in Rivière-du-Loup. He deceased on May 23, 2012 Son of Apollinaire Ouellet and Marie-Louise D’Amour-dit-Courberon Married to Thérèse Dionne on September 16, 1950 (deceased May 31, 2000) Father of André, Jean, Pierre and Manon...

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Samuel F. Wormington

Samuel F. Wormington was born July 19, 1920 in Cranbrook, British-Colombia. Samuel Wormington’s military career started in January 1942. After training in various places in Canada, he was sent to England for artillery training in 1943. He was attached to...

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Sid J. Pass

Sid J. Pass served with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. Sid J. Pass was born in 1926 in Brantford, Ontario. He began his military service in 1943 in London, Ontario, and qualified as a paratrooper in Shilo, Manitoba, on December...

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Stanley Humphreys

We love it when Canadians share their stories of remembrance with us. Recently, one son told us of his father’s story, Stanley Humphreys.  Both Stanley Humphreys and Ken Robinson (pictured above) landed on Juno Beach.  Stanley landed on Juno Beach...

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Wilfred Gordon Harris

Gord, as he was known, was born in Caledon, Ontario, on August 12, 1920. He was the son of William Henry Harris and Bertha (née: Moynes). He had two brothers, Wilson and Jim; and three sisters, Hilda, Betty and Dorothy. Gord’s mother died in 1938 at the age of 46 years, when the youngest child, Dorothy, was three years of age.

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Windsor C. Macdonald

Windsor C. MACDONALD was born on November 14, 1924 in Bay Side, New Brunswick. On June 6, 1941, 16-year-old Windsor Clarence MacDonald lied about his age to join two of his brothers in the North Shore Regiment. He enlisted in...

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